Consumers stayed away from UK’s high streets in November, says BRC

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium.
Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium.
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LARGE numbers of consumers stayed away from the UK’s high streets in November, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The BRC Springboard Footfall survey provides a bleak assessment of prospects for many retailers. Footfall in November fell by 3.2 per cent, which is a significant decline on the previous year when it grew by 0.2 per cent, the BRC said.

Helen Dickinson, the chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Footfall continued to decline as consumers stayed away from the high street in November. With one in every three pounds of non-food purchases made online last month, Black Friday accelerated the movement from in store to online in the lead up to Christmas. The Black Friday discounting period also began earlier for a large number of retailers negatively impacting footfall across a longer period over the month.

“It has been a difficult year for many retailers and the outlook remains challenging as Brexit uncertainty grows. Retailers will be following the upcoming parliamentary vote closely and hoping Parliament can secure a transition period to allow businesses time to adapt to life outside the EU. Without this transition, consumers face higher prices and less choice on their shopping trips.”

Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director, said: “The -3.2pc drop in footfall in November is indisputable evidence that Black Friday delivers no tangible benefit to bricks and mortar stores